hi·jack also high·jack (hījăk′)
tr.v. hi·jacked, hi·jack·ing, hi·jacks also high·jacked or high·jack·ing or high·jacks
a. To seize control of (a vehicle such as an airplane or bus) by use of force, especially as a way of reaching an alternate destination or as an act of terrorism.
b. To kidnap (a person in a vehicle): people who have experienced the trauma of being hijacked.
c. To stop and rob (a vehicle in transit).
d. To steal (goods) from a vehicle in transit.
a. To take control of (something) without permission or authorization and use it for one's own purposes: dissidents who hijacked the town council; spammers who hijacked a computer network.
b. To steal or appropriate for oneself: hijacked her story and used it in his own book.
The act or an instance of hijacking.
[Probably back-formation from highjacker, perhaps from jacker, holdup man, from JACK, to jacklight.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2018 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
The American Heritage Dictionary Blog
Check out our blog, updated regularly, for new words and revised definitions, interesting images from the 5th edition, discussions of usage, and more.